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Radical Transformations in the Name of Acting Options · View
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:44:17 PM

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Do you give actors more acclaim and respect when they do radical things in order to portray certain characters in movies? Do you like seeing this or do you think it's unnecessary and unhealthy?

Coming up the Academy Awards, many have applauded Anne Hathaway's transformation in Les Miserables where she lost a dramatic amount of weight and shore off her hair on camera, even asking the hair-stylist to nick her scalp so it bleeds in order to really get into the shocking pathos of the character.

Then you have actors like Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey transforming themselves into gaunt skeletons to get into character. In years past, we've seen Tom Hanks in Castaway, Charlize Theron in Monster, Hillary Swank in Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby and a whole host of other movies where actors made themselves 'ugly' or physically transformed themselves and were rewarded for it.

We tend to applaud these actors for their commitment and it almost seems like it helps earn them award nominations, given what they're willing to go through in the name of film and art. I feel like we're seeing it more and more in film - it's almost like a ticket into being seen as a 'serious actor' and getting an Oscar. What do you think? Are we giving them more credit than they deserve if it's purely supposed to be about the acting or do you enjoy seeing this level of extreme dedication to their craft?




















WellMadeMale
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:11:28 PM

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whatever it takes, you know, man?

\

The dude abides.



If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
kylie_kained
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:25:15 PM

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It's good that so many actresses and actors to change radically for various parts it makes our viewing in cinema and on stage that much more believable.

















Magical_felix
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 12:12:02 AM

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Robert De Niro was one of the originals to do this.

This is in the same movie! Raging Bull.



He did this for a short scene at the end. Now that's dedication to a role.



When actors do this I see it as them going all out to make their art perfect. An actors art is to become someone else and have the viewer forget that they are watching a person pretend to be someone they aren't.


I see it like a sculptor slaving over a piece of marble for years.

A guitar player loosing pints off blood from their fingers from years and years of practice.

A skateboarder breaking bones to perfect his tricks.

A novelist shutting themselves off from everybody for years to write a masterpiece.

Johnny Knoxville getting hit in the balls with everything and the kitchen sink.


All these people care more about their artistic expression than their bodies and minds.



crazydiamond
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 12:39:31 AM

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I found Jared Leto's transformation quite radical in the film Chapter 27.





oops did not see the first jared on here.

overmykneenow
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 1:38:45 AM

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It doesn't impress me.

I guess it's all part of the method v classical argument. Reminds me of that apocryphal story of Hoffman and Olivier - Hoffman had apparently stayed awake for days in preparation for a particularly harrowing scene. Completely unimpressed, Olivier said to him "have you tried acting, dear boy?"

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Dancing_Doll
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 1:06:51 PM

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overmykneenow wrote:
It doesn't impress me.

I guess it's all part of the method v classical argument. Reminds me of that apocryphal story of Hoffman and Olivier - Hoffman had apparently stayed awake for days in preparation for a particularly harrowing scene. Completely unimpressed, Olivier said to him "have you tried acting, dear boy?"


I kind of feel the same.

These parts coming up in movies are like juicy plums for Oscar nominations and I'm sure actors see it that way too. You're definitely going to get recognized if you take on a part that requires visible suffering and drastic physical transformations. It's almost like a short-cut to being considered by the Academy.

I'm sure it helps the actors 'get in character' and become more absorbed with their roles, but sometimes it just seems like a deliberate mismatch in casting. The more 'beautiful' the person, the more impact the movie makes when it reveals them in their new 'ugly' and 'unhealthy' state. Cue the 'ooohs' and 'ahhhh's and then give that man or woman their Oscar! They deserve it! Look what they did to themselves!

In the case of McConaughey - you have this muscular beefcake type guy basically becoming drastically emaciated to portray a man dying of AIDs. I mean let's face it - he's not exactly an actor that people take all that seriously beyond the rom-com genre but I bet this will vault him into instant Oscar potential - just by virtue of transforming himself from beach hunk into a skeletal character. Technically we all know there were probably plenty of more physically appropriate guys to cast in Hollywood for that role, but producers know this will get the movie more attention, build-up and accolades. He wants that Oscar nomination so he's taking the quickest road to getting there - ie dramatic movie + gross physical suffering.

I get the smarts and logic behind doing stuff like this when you're chasing the prize. I guess I'm just not a fan of the trend. Sometimes I feel like it's over-rewarded for the wrong reasons. Everyone is trying to one-up what's already been put out there so I just wonder what's around the bend next as everyone looks to push past the shock-value of what's already been done.


Buz
Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 7:37:45 AM

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I wonder how much of a negative effect those radical transformations will have on their longtime physical health. I think their critical acclaim should be based solely on their acting performance not whether they are willing to lose or gain drastic amounts of weight for a multi-million dollar payroll.

Dancing_Doll
Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 8:45:13 AM

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Buz wrote:
I wonder how much of a negative effect those radical transformations will have on their longtime physical health. I think their critical acclaim should be based solely on their acting performance not whether they are willing to lose or gain drastic amounts of weight for a multi-million dollar payroll.


Yeah, I've wondered the same thing. I think it's easier for younger actors to be able to snap back without too much risk but for McConaughey who's in his 40's... I think dropping 40lbs like he did with that level of muscle wastage - I doubt he'll ever be able to get back to where he was physically before taking on this role. Gaining the weight back is easy but the muscle and definition will be a lot harder.

I'm sure there's got to be effects on the organs and heart muscle too.


lafayettemister
Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 8:47:31 AM

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It's admirable that some actors would go to such lengths to be more believable in a role. But you still have to have some ability. Lindsay Lohan can get big and fat or rail skinny, she still doesn't have the same acting ability as Meryl Streep. (or Bugs Bunny for that matter). No matter how fat or fit Steven Segal is, he's still a shitty actor. Whether or not an actor has made some sort of miraculous physical transformation should have no bearing on their nomination for an Oscar.

In the original examples listed by DD, i was particularly impressed with the acting of Charlize Theron in "Monster" and Ellen Burstyn in "Requiem For A Dream". Their transformations added to the credibility of the character, but their skill as actors made their appearances believable.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Kitanica
Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 9:25:12 AM

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Im not a fan, I find it unhealthy. doing a diet or packing on some muscle/bulk like Tom hardy I don't mind. I'd rather just have a naturally skinny actor play someone skinny, or a heavier actor play someone heavy than force it on people at the opposite end of the spectrum. Jonah hill got skinny and he's still not funny. They could have just found a funny guy in average shape.
Ultimately it's unnecessary, just a way to get big names into movies where they don't belong.

"Let's force this actor everyone knows to kill his or her body so we can cram them in and get more ticket sales."

more economics than art
Jinxy
Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 9:47:27 AM

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I don't like it either, I think there are enough talented actors to better fit the role rather then forcing ya self to fit the role. If u need to change yerself to that extreme u need not do the role and let someone else better fitting do it. It's not healthy and it doesn't make ya a better actor because u can drop 40-50 pounds or gain just as much for a single role then bounce right back to fit into another role. They say that's wut actors do but that isn't smart to me. It's like wen u hear ppl say that models are a blanket canvise and the designers make them who they are to fit their needs. It's dumb if u ask me.

†Jinxy Approved†

affable
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 12:10:25 AM

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Buz wrote:
I wonder how much of a negative effect those radical transformations will have on their longtime physical health. I think their critical acclaim should be based solely on their acting performance not whether they are willing to lose or gain drastic amounts of weight for a multi-million dollar payroll.


I wonder the same, especially about Daniel Day-Lewis. That guy totally transforms physically and mentally. I read that for The Boxer, he trained with a former boxing world champion. The trainer, Barry McGuigan, said he could have turned pro. For The Last of the Mohicans, he lived off the land like an Indian. That's what I read here. It even sounds like him. Paul Dano, the guy co-starring with Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, said Daniel was accurately described when another actor that quit(Dano's predecessor for that role) said he was "crazy and intimidating." Maybe he said that because Daniel "insisted on living in a tent on a deserted Texas oilfield when the cameras stopped rolling." This method does work for HIM though. Lots of those annoying people at the Academy couldn't ignore how awesome he was in My Left Foot(the crew spoon-fed him for that one), Gangs of New York (he worked as real butcher for that one), and Lincoln (you know he's going to win with that one). He also knows what to do after he takes these roles. So he doesn't get all crazy and stuff, he takes a long break from movies because he says he misses them a lot after filming is over. Hopefully the Academy Awards never display the weight lost, the amount of servings of fresh fruit consumed, and the number of crew members beat up under the name of an actor. They have to stick to the performance even though some, like Daniel, believe doing all that crazy stuff "may make you think that it helps you, and that's as good as anything."
WellMadeMale
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 9:58:58 AM

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To me, the best authors are those who either have extensive experience with whatever they are writing about - or they've done a ton of research into various topics which all fit into their particular story/novel/book.

Anyone can make up shit out of whole cloth fiction...the story verifiers here see that every day. Guess how many of those stories don't make it to the front page.

If the actors/actresses go to these kinds of lengths to obtain their mindset or put themselves into the character...I think it's 'neat'. I don't think that most of them try to do so to gain acclaim from their peers or adoring public. I could be wrong. As cynical as I am about 99% of everything else, I find it humorous that I'm not cynical about this.



If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
secretcharm
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 10:58:02 AM

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From



to



Jaime Camil in "Por Ella Soy Eva", a Mexican soap

Eva is beautiful and funny as hell.


“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”
― Oscar Wilde
stephanie
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 7:07:50 PM

Rank: Bohemian

Joined: 1/1/2010
Posts: 4,873
Location: Dublin, Ire., Ireland


Apparently...

Daniel Day Lewis insisted on being addressed as Mr President (even when off camera) during the shooting of 'Lincoln'....

(He's FAMOUSLY method... A guy I know who worked a bit part in "In The Name Of The Father" told me that Day Lewis asked to be ACTUALLY beaten during the interrogation scenes and also remained hooded for hours at a time to understand his character...)

In one of Ricky Gervais' "EXTRA" scripts, A Very Famous Actress, (It might have been Kate Winslett...) says, "If you want to win an Oscar play a retard or a Nazi..."

xx SF







Imbecile! - de som empire
Si nos efforts te delevraient,
Tes baisers ressuseraient
Le cadavere de ton Wampyr! (Baudelaire.)
(I'll ATTEMPT a free translation...)
"Idiot! Even if our efforts were
To deliver you from Her empire,
Your kisses would bring back to life
The corpse of your beloved Vampire."
EVERYONE WHO SPEAKS FRENCH: "THat isn't quite correct..."
overmykneenow
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 4:26:49 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/8/2010
Posts: 1,022
Location: United Kingdom
stephanie wrote:

In one of Ricky Gervais' "EXTRA" scripts, A Very Famous Actress, (It might have been Kate Winslett...) says, "If you want to win an Oscar play a retard or a Nazi..."


Never go full retard...



Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

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stephanie
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 9:31:07 AM

Rank: Bohemian

Joined: 1/1/2010
Posts: 4,873
Location: Dublin, Ire., Ireland
overmykneenow wrote:


Never go full retard...




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSaoLXC9dzs

xx SF

(The actress in the above clip is a brilliant stand-up comedy star in Britain who REALLY DOES have Cerebral Palsy... God Love Her...)

Not Kate Winslett... The one who walks like she's in The Walking Dead.....

Imbecile! - de som empire
Si nos efforts te delevraient,
Tes baisers ressuseraient
Le cadavere de ton Wampyr! (Baudelaire.)
(I'll ATTEMPT a free translation...)
"Idiot! Even if our efforts were
To deliver you from Her empire,
Your kisses would bring back to life
The corpse of your beloved Vampire."
EVERYONE WHO SPEAKS FRENCH: "THat isn't quite correct..."
Buz
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 8:57:50 PM

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Joined: 3/2/2011
Posts: 5,819
Location: Atlanta, United States
Someone who did need a transformation was Don Johnson who played Sonny Crocket in the old Miami Vice TV show. He had a great tough guy voice but his puny skinny arms always displayed in sleeveless shirts were not realistic at all. He needed to lift some weights and bulk up just enough to be believable. No way he could rough up a perp with those toothpick arms.

Magical_felix
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 9:50:55 PM

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Buz wrote:
Someone who did need a transformation was Don Johnson who played Sonny Crocket in the old Miami Vice TV show. He had a great tough guy voice but his puny skinny arms always displayed in sleeveless shirts were not realistic at all. He needed to lift some weights and bulk up just enough to be believable. No way he could rough up a perp with those toothpick arms.


How dare you...

That fool was ten times smarter than the average perp... He would pistol whip fools, corner them with his detecting skills, blind them with his swagger.

Please don't fuck up like this again Buz.

You don't fuck with these fools. Not if you want to live.



Look at this recent transformation. He went from the baddest vice cop in Miami to one of the most despicable Colonel Sanders looking slavers ever portrayed on film.





tazznjazz
Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 12:24:35 AM

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overmykneenow wrote:
It doesn't impress me.

I guess it's all part of the method v classical argument. Reminds me of that apocryphal story of Hoffman and Olivier - Hoffman had apparently stayed awake for days in preparation for a particularly harrowing scene. Completely unimpressed, Olivier said to him "have you tried acting, dear boy?"


This reminds me of a quote i read where Marlon Brando remarked to Val Kilmer '' Your confusing your talent with your paycheck''.

For my money one of the best performances was Leo DiCaprio in What's eating Gilbert Grape? I saw it twice before It registered who he was!

I think Daniel Day-Lewis is the master of transforming himself ''into character'' though and he uses his mind, not diets or trickery to become one with who he protrays
Buz
Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 3:29:04 PM

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Magical_felix wrote:


How dare you...

That fool was ten times smarter than the average perp... He would pistol whip fools, corner them with his detecting skills, blind them with his swagger.

Please don't fuck up like this again Buz.

You don't fuck with these fools. Not if you want to live.



Look at this recent transformation. He went from the baddest vice cop in Miami to one of the most despicable Colonel Sanders looking slavers ever portrayed on film.



Jack-Magical_Felix,
I see the error of my ways and stand corrected. What was I thinking insulting Don Johnson for having wimpy arms. I did give kudos to his rather macho voice though.

I take this opportunity on humble bended knees to apologize to you Jack, to Col. Sanders...I mean Sonny Crockett aka Sonny Burnette, his partner Tubbs, to Michael Mann, the city of Miami, the Miami Vice Nation, America, the western hemisphere, Ferrari automobiles, breast implants, $1000 pastel silk suits, 80s music, cigarette boats, and all other things Miami Vice, for my poor comments and I won't fuck up again. All hail Don Johnson, American icon.

Sincerely,
Buz

Magical_felix
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 1:08:12 AM

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Joined: 4/3/2010
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Location: California
Buz wrote:


Jack-Magical_Felix,
I see the error of my ways and stand corrected. What was I thinking insulting Don Johnson for having wimpy arms. I did give kudos to his rather macho voice though.



I'm letting that one slide... But you're creeping over the line again, son.

Buz wrote:


I take this opportunity on humble bended knees to apologize to you Jack, to Col. Sanders...I mean Sonny Crockett aka Sonny Burnette, his partner Tubbs, to Michael Mann, the city of Miami, the Miami Vice Nation, America, the western hemisphere, Ferrari automobiles, breast implants, $1000 pastel silk suits, 80s music, cigarette boats, and all other things Miami Vice, for my poor comments and I won't fuck up again. All hail Don Johnson, American icon.

Sincerely,
Buz


You forgot to apologize to blue and pink neon too... and big tits, but okay... You tried to un-fuck yourself.

Carry on.




Buz
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 6:29:30 PM

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In order to fo penance I have placed 3 plastic pink flamingos in my yard.

Buz
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 6:29:34 PM

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In order to fo penance I have placed 3 plastic pink flamingos in my yard.

Guest
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 7:41:47 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,397
I do like chameleons.



Tried to find a Kilmer scene as Morrison, but none took. There are few that can do it. Well, nowadays with commercial/award needs, it gets harder. I appreciate watching a movie and forgetting the actor behind the character. And props to Jim Carey for Kaufman. No weight loss, no make-up, just losing himself in the role.

P.S. that was Gary Oldman.
elitfromnorth
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:08:34 PM

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Radical changes and all that is probably because we are much more visual about what we just see as looks, not the way they speak or all the other traits that bring out a character. Before it was more about how they presented the lines, maybe they way walked, if they were hunchbacked or had a twitch. Before the character was important. Now, the first and most important thing has become the looks, and then mostly how they look in a single screenshot, not how they walk or talk. Just look at all the great classics. They didn't alter their looks that much(ok, Boris Karloff did) but they still won Oscars. Looks wasn't important then. Now with the HD and 3D and whatnot, suddenly looks become important, and then you have to have the looks to fit the part.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
Tranquil
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 11:28:37 PM

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Jack_42
Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013 2:23:02 AM

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Joined: 8/21/2009
Posts: 986
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Tranquil wrote:
Love the movies, but it can't be good for the body.


You're right I did some extra work once and it was so boring most of the time sitting around eating so I'm amazed at the actors who lose weight must take a lot of strength of character. :)
Necho
Posted: Thursday, April 04, 2013 2:24:16 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 3/18/2013
Posts: 24
Location: New Zealand
Magical_felix wrote:


When actors do this I see it as them going all out to make their art perfect. An actors art is to become someone else and have the viewer forget that they are watching a person pretend to be someone they aren't.


I see it like a sculptor slaving over a piece of marble for years.

A guitar player loosing pints off blood from their fingers from years and years of practice.

A skateboarder breaking bones to perfect his tricks.

A novelist shutting themselves off from everybody for years to write a masterpiece.

Johnny Knoxville getting hit in the balls with everything and the kitchen sink.


All these people care more about their artistic expression than their bodies and minds.


I totally agree, actors get paid millions of dollars to transform themselves for movies and it is their passion to do so. We all sacrifice a bit of ourselves for our jobs even if it is just our sanity. evil5

Kitanica wrote:
Im not a fan, I find it unhealthy. doing a diet or packing on some muscle/bulk like Tom hardy I don't mind. I'd rather just have a naturally skinny actor play someone skinny, or a heavier actor play someone heavy than force it on people at the opposite end of the spectrum. Jonah hill got skinny and he's still not funny. They could have just found a funny guy in average shape.
Ultimately it's unnecessary, just a way to get big names into movies where they don't belong.

"Let's force this actor everyone knows to kill his or her body so we can cram them in and get more ticket sales."

more economics than art


Firstly; I think Tom Hardy packing on the kilos has pretty much handed him a golden career, I dont think he would have been anywhere now if he was still the same skinny dude he started out as. Sometimes you just have to be the hot guy that takes of your shirt all the time and get paid to do so... oh the horror.

Secondly; They are hardly forced to do so, they get paid millions and actors like Ms Theron and Swank could easily have passed on those rolls to someone else, but they didnt, they chose it.
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